Monday, October 25, 2021

German power producer forced to close power plant after running out of coal

The global energy crisis forced a German power producer to shut down its power plant last week after it ran out of hard coal.

A Steig spokesman told Bloomberg that Steig GmbH, which operates six large-scale hard coal plants in Germany, was forced to close the Bergkamen A plant in the western part of the country.

This is not the first time the Bergkamen A plant has been forced to close. According to Bloomberg, according to court filings, in September the plant was halted four times for six days at a time due to external factors. Three other German coal plants were also halted for maintenance on Friday.

“We have a shortage of hard coal,” said spokesman Daniel Mühlenfeld. “There is a strong demand for coal and secondly there is a strong demand for transport by barges. And since there is no rail connection to Bergkamen, there is no logistical option available here.”

Steig, which employs more than 6,000 people worldwide, is also facing logistical issues amid a surge in demand for river transport as Germany’s economy slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the logistical issues, the company is still optimistic that its Bergkamen A plant will be operational “quite soon” and notes that Steg is not the only energy company facing such issues.

“We are dealing with a double bottleneck,” Muhlenfeld said. “This is not a specific problem for Steg, but a common problem for almost all owners of hard coal-fired power plants these days.”

With energy spaces currently rising around the world, many European countries are facing energy bills as gas prices rose last month amid a short supply of natural gas and a surge in demand as pandemic-hit economies around the world. an increase of more than 35 percent. reopening the world.

Low output from Europe’s windmills and solar farms, and maintenance work to take nuclear generators and other plans offline have also contributed.

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In Europe, supply levels are 16 percent below the five-year average, a record low for this time of year, and European utilities have turned to coal to cope with such shortfalls, even That has also asked for more supplies from Russia. As a result, coal is now trading at a sky-high level.

Meanwhile, China, which relies almost entirely on coal, last week moved to secure more supplies—including electricity and oil—as the country faces power supply issues that have forced factories to close. and supply constraints to large global companies such as Apple. and Tesla, as well as small American businesses.

Vice Premier Han Zheng, who oversees the country’s energy sector and industrial production, ordered China’s energy companies to “do whatever it takes” to secure fuel supplies.

Power rationing is also taking place in at least nine provinces and territories as China tries to tackle its electricity problems.

Household electricity use has been banned in northeastern Liaoning province and two neighboring provinces, where some 100 million people live. Several residents of Liaoning confirmed to The Epoch Times that they recently experienced unannounced power cuts.

But the country’s top provincial official said on 26 September that rationing electricity for industrial use, which accounts for about 70 percent of the country’s electricity consumption, still cannot fill the “massive” gap between electricity supply and demand. . Meanwhile, neighboring Jilin province vowed to source more coal for domestic heating use as winter approaches.

China’s move to secure more supplies is likely to make matters worse, with Europe scrambling to secure fuel this winter.

Dorothy Lee contributed to this report.


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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